In This Article Expand or collapse the "in this article" section Blended Learning

  • Introduction
  • Early Seminal Articles
  • Defining Blended Learning
  • Literature Reviews
  • Theory
  • Models
  • Meta-Analyses
  • Disciplinary Applications
  • Future Directions
  • Books on Research
  • Books on Practice
  • Conferences
  • Special Journal Issues
  • Growth Trends

Education Blended Learning
Charles R. Graham
  • LAST REVIEWED: 21 April 2021
  • LAST MODIFIED: 30 August 2016
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780199756810-0156


Blended learning is a term that refers to a combination of traditional face-to-face instruction and technology-mediated instruction. The term emerged and gained popularity in the early 2000s. Less commonly used terms in the research are “hybrid” and “mixed-mode” learning environments. In the early 21st century, thousands of articles, books, chapters, and industry reports have been published on the topic. Blended learning is being implemented widely in corporate training, higher education, and K-12 environments. It is often stated that blended learning combines the best of both the online and traditional learning worlds. However, the opposite can also be true, when blends don’t take advantage of the strengths of the different modalities but rather build on their limitations. It is important to understand that this is an emerging domain of research and practice, and theory, models, and best practices are still evolving quite fluidly. This bibliography provides annotations of seminal articles and books in the domain as well as citations to reports that document trends and growth of blended learning.

Early Seminal Articles

The three articles listed in this section are early seminal articles that researchers and practitioners interested in blended learning should read. They are some of the most cited manuscripts related to blended learning because they have helped to establish a vision for what blended learning is and how it can be used to improve the teaching and learning enterprise.

  • Dziuban, C. D., J. L. Hartman, and P. D. Moskal. 2004. Blended learning. EDUCAUSE Research Bulletin 7:1–12.

    This research bulletin describes and makes a case for blended learning in higher education and is geared primarily at an audience of institutional leaders. The report presents early institutional evaluation data comparing success rates, withdrawal rates, faculty satisfaction numbers, and enrollment growth in blended courses.

  • Garrison, D. R., and H. Kanuka. 2004. Blended learning: Uncovering its transformative potential in higher education. The Internet and Higher Education 7:95–105.

    DOI: 10.1016/j.iheduc.2004.02.001

    This article discusses the transformational potential of blended learning to positively impact higher education. The authors introduce the Community of Inquiry framework and focus on the importance of effectively integrating online and face-to-face components, and on key elements that will allow institutions to realize the transformational potential of blended learning.

  • Graham, C. R. 2006. Blended learning systems: Definition, current trends, and future directions. In The Handbook of Blended Learning: Global Perspectives, Local Designs. Edited by C. J. Bonk and C. R. Graham, 3–21. San Francisco: Pfeiffer.

    This chapter answers basic questions about blended learning and presents a framework for looking at dimensions of interaction in face-to-face and distributed learning. It identifies examples of blends at the activity, course, program, and institutional levels. It establishes criteria for distinguishing between enabling, enhancing, and transforming blends.

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